Ask XY: What’s In A Name?

Ask XY

Taking last names – how important is it for your spouse to share
your last name if/when you get married? Why or why not?

Mr. WSince I’m the only guy in my family, I’d like to “pass on the family name…” but that can be done with my children, so she can either take my last name, hyphen it, or keep her own.  I’m only interested in knowing what she’s comfortable with.

Mr. X – I’m kind of indifferent on the matter. Thinking about changing my name from the one I’ve had my whole life up to that point seems odd, so I can understand why someone would be hesitant to do that. I also don’t have the same attachment a lot of other men have to the history of their family name, for some very big and (when explained in my dream journal) obvious reasons. Why is it all right for me to impose my last name on someone who has a last name that means something to them? Someone with heritage that they want to honor by carrying that name further into the annals of human history? I think it’s a beautiful sentiment to share your name with someone if they want to do that with you, but I don’t think that the old way of “branding the cattle” is a good way to treat the approach any more.

Mr. YThis would depend on how good her last name is, my last name is pretty awesome so I would think she would want to take it.

Mr. ZIt’s an all-or-nothing thing for me as far as the marriage thing goes.  Want to go all traditional?  Okay, that’s cool.  Want to be a “modern” couple?  That’s cool too, but you’ll have to help me pay for half of the engagement ring.  I think it’s crap that people pick and choose the stuff that doesn’t work for them.  Get common law married and don’t even bother with a ceremony.  As for taking my girlfriends name if we get married, I wouldn’t, because that tradition doesn’t seem to really be hurting anyone the way it is.


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